Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gone Fishing

More fishing babes and fishnets on Zillow Book for Fishnet Friday!
More fishing babes and fishnets on Zillow Book for Fishnet Friday!

Businessman looks at a painted portrait of Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne created by New York artist Geoffrey Raymond, on which people and Bear Stearns employees have written messages to Cayne expressing their anger about the collapse of the investment giant, in front of Bear Stearns headquarters in New York, May 29, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

À la recherche du temps perdu

memorial day by ~herekittykittay

memorial day by ~annalavigne

While you're enjoying your BBQ and day off, please take a moment to think about the more than 4000 troops in Iraq who died for...For what exactly?
Think of how many others are seriously crippled, brain-dead, committing suicide and ask yourself FOR WHAT EXACTLY?
FOR WHAT EXACTLY?????!!!!!!!!
For fucking what exactly?!!!!!!!
When you find an answer that makes any ethical sense, please feel free to let me know what it might be.

The Post-American World

Zakaria's central thesis is that while the U.S. still has many unique assets, "the rise of the rest" -- the Chinas, the Indias, the Brazils and even smaller nonstate actors -- is creating a world where many other countries are slowly moving up to America's level of economic clout and self-assertion, in every realm. "Today, India has 18 all-news channels of its own," notes Zakaria. "And the perspectives they provide are very different from those you will get in the Western media. The rest now has the confidence to present its own narrative, where it is at the center."

For too long, argues Zakaria, America has taken its many natural assets -- its research universities, free markets and diversity of human talent -- and assumed that they will always compensate for our low savings rate or absence of a health-care system or any strategic plan to improve our competitiveness.

"That was fine in a world when a lot of other countries were not performing," argues Zakaria, but now the best of the rest are running fast, working hard, saving well and thinking long term.

"They have adopted our lessons and are playing our game," he said. If we don't fix our political system and start thinking strategically about how to improve our competitiveness, he added, "the U.S. risks having its unique and advantageous position in the world erode as other countries rise."

When Wagga sent me this article mentioning Fareed Zakaria's “The Post-American World” I was reminded of this recent photo of Obama.

Other than "My Pet Goat" I wonder what Bush has read since he has been in office...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Andalusian Decay

hike on the wild side

bush infrastructure paradigm ?

Hat tip to Wagga for everything but the hot cave woman.

Friday, May 23, 2008

having a car is so 20th century

dizzy-in-Tokyo by ~petaluda

With car buying down by close to 33-percent since 1990, Japan is claimed to be in the grips of kuruma banare, which, for Japanese carmakers, is the polar opposite of hakuna matata.

It's being labeled the "demotorization" process, and it involves large numbers of people in Japan's urban centers not buying cars. Surveys have revealed a variety of reasons, from the cost of purchase and ownership, to vehicles simply not being status symbols anymore, to cars being passé -- as in "so 20th century." The greatest worry is that young folks are simply not into cars, preferring cell phones and gadgets to Cubes and keis. Losing their audience before the love affair has even begun is no doubt causing JDM manufacturers to lose sleep.
Excerpted from Is Japan facing a post-car society?
Hat tip to Wagga!

Kimiyuki Suda should be a perfect customer for Japan's carmakers. He's a young (34), successful executive at an Internet-services company in Tokyo and has plenty of disposable income. He used to own Toyota's Hilux Surf, a sport utility vehicle. But now he uses mostly subways and trains. "It's not inconvenient at all," he says. Besides, "having a car is so 20th century."
I think Billary looks like an evil frog.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More on the Foreclosed Congresswoman

As mentioned in the comments yesterday Congresswoman Laura Richardson denied foreclosure reports stating "the residential property in Sacramento California is not in foreclosure and has NOT been seized by the bank." Hmmm, perhaps she has a different definition of foreclosure given the latest reports.
According to the WSJ:
The Sacramento home of Rep. Laura Richardson was sold in a public auction two weeks ago for $388,000. The Southern California Democrat bought the house for $535,000 with no money down in January 2007 and owed nearly $575,000 to Washington Mutual when the mortgage was sold earlier this month at a significant loss to Red Rock Mortgage Inc.

Additional details from a recent L.A. Land post from the L.A. Times:
They took a beating," James York, the Sacramento real estate broker who said he bought Richardson's house at a foreclosure auction, told the Daily Breeze.

The Daily Breeze report is based on public documents the newspaper published on its website, and an interview with York. It is at odds with Richardson's statement yesterday, in which the Long Beach Democrat said she had worked out a loan modification with her lender, and would "fulfill all financial obligations" on the property.

The Daily Breeze: "Rep. Laura Richardson lost her Sacramento home in a foreclosure auction two weeks ago, and left behind nearly $9,000 in unpaid property taxes. Richardson, D-Long Beach, appears to have made only a few payments on the house, which she bought in January 2007 for $535,000."

The newspaper's report -- that the house was foreclosed and an auction took place -- appears to conflict with Richardson's statement that the house "is not in foreclosure." (see the entire statement at the bottom of this post). Richardson's office has not responded to a request from L.A. Land for additional information about her mortgage and loan modification. The Daily Breeze reports she declined to be interviewed about the controversy.

The newspaper's report also calls into question Richardson's statement that she had worked out a loan modification with her lender and would fulfill all financial obligations related to the property. The Daily Breeze reports that the house sold for only $388,000, far below the $574,000 that Richardson owed on the property. Further, the Daily Breeze reports that the new owner, York, "assumed responsibility for Richardson's unpaid property tax bill of $8,950.79."

"Tell Laura I'd be happy to have her pay my property tax," he told the newspaper.

Richardson: Delinquent on $8,950 in taxes

Notice of Trustee's Sale

One of Richardson's first votes upon arriving in Congress last fall was on the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. The bill helped homeowners by preventing the federal government from charging income tax on debt forgiven in a foreclosure, such as the $200,000 forgiven in Richardson's foreclosure.
Joining 385 of her colleagues, Richardson voted aye.

I just don't get it. Why would she lie about something that could be so easily verified? Will she next say that she didn't realize her home was sold in a public auction two weeks ago? I guess we'll find out...

(Disabled due to annoying AARP commercials)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Hello Kitty assault rifle that actually exists

Yet another HK update!!!

Another hat tip to Wagga for Hello Kitty lollipop condoms and Hello Kitty Zone in general.

A Hello Kitty assault rifle that actually exists
Awhile back we were treated to a hilarious Photoshop job called the HK-47--an assault rifle decorated with images of everybody's favorite nonpornographic, nontentacled Japanese import, Hello Kitty. We were sad to learn that it was, well, Photoshopped.

Hat tip to Mitchell for this one!
Currently watching Frontline and highly annoyed again...

Hat tip to Wagga for this latest Hello Kitty find:
Hello Kitty gets claws into UK electronics
Brand developer Comment Retail Services has signed a deal to bring Hello Kitty into the hands of UK punters by way of mobile phone content and branded electronics, reports
Hello Kitty is Japanese in origin, but has always been popular in the USA. In the UK the brand already adorns clothing and toys, but not much in the way of electronics, and it's sometimes hard to convey to Europeans just how pervasive the cute cat is in Japan.
Jonathan Ross, the UK TV presenter, even decided to hold his wedding in Hello Kitty land in Japan, a ceremony overseen by an enormous
talking tree.
We're looking forward to seeing Hello Kitty phones and MP3 players, though personally we'll pass on the
vibrator. Greater presence for the brand will also help answer the long-debated question - which is worse, Hello Kitty or Disney? ®

It's Hello Kitty everywhere!

Monday, May 19, 2008

This is an Excellent Time to be a Repo Man!

I'm a Repo Man. by ~Otto-parts

Just in time for National Dog Bite Prevention Week, I'm heading out to a dog behavior class this evening, but I thought this article was worth posting rather than leaving as a comment link:

So many people have so many things they can no longer afford. This is an excellent time to be a repo man.

When a boat owner defaults on his loan, the bank hires Jeff Henderson to seize its property. The former Army detective tracks the boat down in a backyard or a marina or a garage and hauls it to his storage area and later auctions it off. After nearly 20 years in the repossession business, Mr. Henderson has never been busier.

“I used to take the weak ones,” he said. “Now I’m taking the whole herd.”

More from the NYT's Economic Tide Is Rising for Repo Man

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Negative energy to fill the fuel tank of her spaceship"

The mastermind behind all the mayhem is this innocent-looking little girl, pictured here talking to her robot servant. She's really a crash-landed alien, and desperately needs negative energy to fill the fuel tank of her spaceship, otherwise she can't return home. (negative energy = pain, fear, guilt and any other bad emotions she can milk out of humans)
More absurd Terror Blu insanity over at The Groovy Age of Horror.

Edgar has discovered yet another bizarre Billary find:

Calming one's neurotic dog

These are some fairly recent pictures of Tanuki. As you can see in relation to the cat he is not a big dog, but he still believes he is. In fact, he is certain he is. Unlike Akubi, he also seems to carry a load of angst on his tiny little shoulders which has lead to some aggression issues. The canine behavioralist felt that he needed more intellectual stimulation, so I’ve been giving him food puzzles that Akubi steals from him until the food is gone.
Anyway, my Music to Calm Your Canine Companion CD and related book finally arrived today and it seems to be working! It makes me feel unusually relaxed as well. Here’s a sample of Beethoven / Pathetique Sonata Op. 13 and a complete zipped sample of J.S. Bach / Prelude in C piece.
I would be curious if it sedates anyone else to the degree I've experienced...
If not, I guess I've spent too much time sleeping with dogs.

More Octopus Finds!

flying octopus by ~holzness

Octopus by ~squoose

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Hero!

I do my best thinking on the bus...

The more you drive the less intelligent you are.

Read books and throw Scientology, Tom Cruise and his subprime spawn out the window!

I think I saw a little Pomeranian on the hood of the car...

Negentropy and NegAm

Ursula I by ~ObscenityE

Ursula II by ~ObscenityE

10h10 by ~ObscenityE

Cara Cakes wishes you a Happy Fishnet Friday!

Cara Cakes Campy 1 '08 by ~vcateyesv

Cara Cakes Campy 2 '08 by ~vcateyesv

On this Fishnet Friday Cara Cakes would like to give Edgar Alpo a big hug!

Do you think Cara is aggravating global warming?


Zillow Book features a Fishnet Friday extravaganza!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Living like a Fish

He likes to say that he "took to photography like a duck takes to water." But "like a fish" might be closer to the mark. At Silver Springs, Mozert pioneered underwater photography, building waterproof housings that allowed him to go deep with a camera in hand. For some 45 years (except for service with the Army Air Forces during World War II), he created scenes of people—comely young women, for the most part—talking on the phone, playing golf, reading the newspaper...underwater, all the better to show off the wondrous clarity of Silver Springs' waters.

"Everything has a picture in it, a sellable picture," Mozert says. "All you got to do is use your imagination." To create bubbles in a champagne flute, he would stick some dry ice or Alka-Seltzer in the glass; to simulate smoke rising from a grill, he used canned condensed milk. "The fat in the milk would cause it to rise, creating ‘smoke' for a long time," he says. With his meticulous production values and surreal vision, Mozert cast Silver Springs in a light perfectly suited to postwar America—part "Leave It to Beaver" and part "The Twilight Zone." His images anchored a national publicity campaign for the springs from the 1940s through the '70s; competing against water-skiing shows, dancing porpoises, leaping whales and hungry alligators, Silver Springs remained one of Florida's premier attractions, the Disney World of its day. Then, in 1971, came Disney World.

The Life Aquatic with Bruce Mozert via otomano

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Channeling M. SINGH

Olbermann To Bush: "This War Is Not About You...Shut The Hell Up!"

You, Mr. Bush, and your tragically know-it-all minions, threw out every piece of intelligence that suggested there were no such weapons.

You, Mr. Bush, threw out every person who suggested that the sober, contradictory, reality-based intelligence needed to be listened to, fast.

You, Mr. Bush, are responsible for how "intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment."

You and the sycophants you dredged up and put behind the most important steering wheel in the world propagated palpable nonsense and shoved it down the throat of every intelligence community across the world and punished anybody who didn't agree it was really chicken salad.

And you, Mr. Bush, threw under the bus, all of the subsequent critics who bravely stepped forward later to point out just how much of a self-fulfilling prophecy you had embraced, and adopted as this country's policy in lieu of, say, common sense.

The fiasco of pre-war intelligence, sir, is your fiasco.

You should build a great statue of yourself turning a deaf ear to the warnings of realists, while you are shown embracing the three-card monte dealers like Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

That would be a far more fitting tribute to your legacy, Mr. Bush, than this presidential library you are constructing as a giant fable about your presidency, an edifice you might as claim was built from "Iraqi weapons of mass destruction" because there will be just as many of those inside your presidential library as there were inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

On The Limits Of Memory

Square America: On The Limits Of Memory - About 70 (45 new to the site) optically distorted photos. Dreamy and strange, they are the product of cheap cameras and damaged negatives- no photoshop necessary.

Last month's Smoke series is also worth noting.